A raccoon in Wicomico County has tested positive for rabies.
According to the Wicomico County Health Department, the raccoon was located in the area of Wallerton Road in Mardela Springs, and tested positive Thursday.
People in the area are advised to avoid contact with wild or stray animals and should be aware of their surroundings. Residents are also advised to keep their pets confined and to secure trash can lids.
Health officials said rabies can be easily spread through contact with an animal’s saliva, and left untreated it is fatal to humans and animals.
The Wicomico County Health Department passed along additional advice:
Rabies is a preventable viral disease that exists in the saliva of mammals and is transmitted from animal to animal or from animal to human by biting and/or scratching. The virus can also be spread by licking, when infected saliva makes contact with open cuts or wounds, and with the mouth, eyes, and nose. If left untreated in humans and animals, rabies is fatal.
· Please keep the following tips in mind to protect your family and your pets:
· Keep pets confined
· Avoid all contact with wild or stray animals
· Teach children to leave unfamiliar animals alone
· Vaccinate pets – Maryland law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets, 4 months of age and older have a current rabies vaccination.
· Avoid feeding or watering pets outside
· Secure outside garbage lids
To report human or animal contact, such as bites or scratches, call the Wicomico County Health Department at (410) 546-4446. For more information on rabies or rabies vaccination clinics, visit our website at www.wicomichealth.org, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram (WicomicoHealth), or Twitter (@WicomicoHealth).